How It All Started
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
'He also mentioned something about bringing his Polaroid camera. Ok, that should be fun. Instant photos, catch me unaware, no retouch. Oh joy. Be brave!'
It was meant to be a shoot which he would like to create a short story out of. He had simply asked me to bring this and that dress, those and these shoes, and some lingerie. Intriguing. He also mentioned something about bringing his Polaroid camera. Ok, that should be fun. Instant photos, catch me unaware, no retouch. Oh joy. Be brave!
The elevator in the perfect hotel in perfect Switzerland took us up to the seventh floor and into a perfect little room with the perfect window and perfect natural light. Everything was perfect, only that it was the (Im)Perfection that he was really looking for.
Working with Alexandre is a surreal experience. One can only marvel at what must really be going on in his shoulder-length haired head. Hair which he has no intention of trimming till he makes it for his much COVID delayed trip to NYC.
I gathered that he had conceptualised the entire shoot even before we met, perhaps when he spotted my profile on a modeling platform where he discovered me. Perhaps over time during the lockdown as he stared into the green expanse that was his main view during that period. Perhaps not. You will have to ask him. I say that because he was immaculate. From the wardrobe to his equipment to the set-up of the room and the possibilities and/or impossibilities, he knew exactly what he wanted and went for it.
Alexandre liked to talk. A lot. I think he was talking to me but he was really talking to himself too. Is that how he writes the story? No, he must have written it before already, but maybe he continues to write it in his mind as we were creating the images.
Five hours with Alexandre felt like two-minutes. From the outdoors to the indoors, window to the bed to the bathroom and wardrobe changes, everything went so fast. So fast that I had forgotten what we really did. The shoot was done?
When he finally sent me the initial photos, I was blown away.
When he sent me the final set of photos WITH the story, I was beside myself.
I remarked to him that he should really get published and turn this idea into a book. The more I talked about it the more I liked the idea so I threw him a challenge to make 10 chapters out of the Polaroid idea and make a complete book out of it.
The challenge was accepted and here we are.
'Surprisingly, as we are living, more and more in the instant; instant messages, instant gratification, instant reaction... we almost forgot what an instant used to be, what an instant use to mean.
Polaroid, thank you Mr. Land, captured your soul in an instant; your soul and the rest.
The rest being all the imperfections that make the background of our lives.
The car passing by; the walker and his dog, stopping for a pee, just during that really unique moment; that ray of light by the window, obscured by a 747 heading East.
All these imperfections we wanted out of our perfect pictures, are, in fact the core of our perfect memories. All these imperfections that are, ultimately, after many cursing and resignation, life; life after all.
If not for you, Monsieur l’ingénieur, reality would not be the same. I mean, that reality, almost perfect, but not quite...' - POLARO!D: Fleeting Tales on (Im)Perfection
About the Project
'POLARO!D' is a ten-part series with the occasional Interludes. Short stories told through photography and text. A collaborative effort between Alexandre Pierre Albert and Lin Chong.
About Alexandre Pierre Albert
'Doubtful and optimistic story teller; my tools are a pen and a camera.'
Alexandre Pierre Albert was born in 1974 in Hong Kong. After studying photography and history of art he worked as a photo reporter and journalist for various press agencies, reporting chiefly from former USSR Republics, and Asia. After which, he acted as a photographer and stylist for a film production company in Los Angeles.
As a writer his short tell more than often stories about appearances and theses truths we may or may not find in us and around us. Reality and fiction intertwined these texts are accompanied by original pictures narrating the story, or perhaps a different one, who knows.
As a portrait and fine art photographer, his work is aimed toward the fashion, lifestyle and advertising industry. In these cases his texts are written to be used as scripts, setting moods, story and decor.
In 2013 he established his studio No³ in Vevey, Switzerland.